11/05/2023NYC-Based Trio Loboko Drops Two Ebullient Congolese Compositions On Names You Can Trust

Who turned up the heat?! It's like we blinked and the summer season is upon us. In search of upbeat tunes to match our lifted spirits, we could hardly overlook this ebullient debut two-track release by NYC-based three-piece Loboko on Names You Can Trust. The band features young Congolese singer and guitar virtuoso Yohni Djungu Sungu, playing alongside legendary fellow Congolese master bassist and vocalist Ngouma Lokito (of Soukous Stars fame) and, last but not least, the multi-talented DJ, journalist and producer Morgan Greenstreet (Combo Lulo and more) on drums.

Spawned out of the New York melting pot, this up-and-coming trio spent the past years making a name for themselves on the local live circuit before finally taking to the studio to conjure these vibrant original compositions of traditional Congolese music: "Rooted in a now ubiquitous guitar-driven sound of African soukous that have permeated the greater Caribbean music landscape for up to six decades, Loboko’s take on the ethnic Baluba rhythm, mutuashi, adorns the single’s A-side as 'Kanyunyi'." On the B-side awaits "Ekenge", inspired the 'seben' style. "It’s a familiar sound to those soundsystem aficionadas, an intoxicating guitar combination that has reverberated from the heart of the Congo, through a wave in France’s popular African music industry, and into the discerning selections of Colombia’s Pico culture."

That being said, this promising first taste of the group's undeniable potential would seem to be an instant and essential classic for DJs to have in their record bags at future tropical dancehall events the world around and should also be loads of fun when played out live, with pockets for each of these hyper-talented artists to bring their respective craft to the forefront. Can't wait to hear more.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom